This week Steve Jobs came out with a letter to the world expressing the concept that he thinks that Digital Rights Management DRM is essentially a waste of time inspired by a reactionary Music Industry. He published his letter on his website and laid out the case against DRM and as a side point against the record industry that requires DRM.
Just a couple months ago Bill Gates invited a number of bloggers for a one on one personal dialogue. He intimated his distaste for DRM then as well. Recommending that music shoppers should burn music from CD’s as opposed to buying music with DRM, like the music offered at his Zune online music store. He essentially said the same thing that Steve Jobs is saying now, but a little eloquently.
With all this talk from the head of two of the companies that are so much at the heart of DRM through their media player software and now also through their physical media players, it seems as if they are starting to publicly state their opinion and acknowledge their agreement.
In private if they were to sit down and choose a course to act together or against individually the music industry, even when consumers benefit this would be considered collusion. However, free speech is still allowed in many forms throughout the US, and so both leaders are allowed to express their opinion publicly, even though it allows them to confirm with each other that they are publicly on the same sheet of music. The end result is the same as they can choose their direction knowing the move of the other, but the record industry also benefits from seeing the telegraphed signal as well.
This might be the beginning of the end of DRM as we know it and that can definitely be a good thing for consumers wallets, what it will do to and for the record industry and the TV and movie industry remains to be seen.